Something For The Weekend – Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes

These cupcakes are easier to make than traditional hot cross buns but they’re just as delicious – perfect if you’re planning an Easter get-together.

Hot Cross Bun Muffins from

We love hot cross buns, but they take a while to make and can be quite fiddly. This cupcake version has plenty of fruit and spice, and it’s easy for the kids to help if they want to get involved.

Prep time:  20 mins approx

Cook time: 20-25 mins

Makes: 10 cupcakes


175g self-raising flour

175g unsalted butter

175g light soft brown sugar

100g ground almonds

100ml whole milk

100g raisins or sultanas (or a mix is fine)

3 large eggs

1 medium eating apple

1tbsp lemon juice

1tbsp apricot jam

2tsp mixed spice

½ tsp baking powder

Zest of a medium orange

Pinch of salt

For the buttercream

Zest of half an orange

50g full-fat cream cheese

50g icing sugar

25g butter, softened

¼ tsp mixed spice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°C/Gas 4 and grease a 12-hole muffin tin. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature and whisk them together in a jug or bowl. Peel and core the apple, then grate the flesh. Warm the apricot jam with a splash of water.

Mix the lemon juice and milk together in a large jug and set to one side. Tip the flour, baking powder, sugar, mixed spice, ground almonds and salt into a bowl and mix together, using your fingers to disperse any lumps of sugar. Melt the butter in a pan then beat into the lemon juice and milk mix along with the eggs and orange zest. (The milk should have thickened slightly by now.)

Pour the mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and use a balloon whisk to combine evenly. Stir in the raisins/sultanas and grated apple and mix well. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for around 20 minutes until golden and well risen. Leave to cool for ten minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack.

Once the buns have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut a cross from the top of each one, then brush the tops with the jam/water glaze. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter, and remaining mixed spice and orange zest together to make a spiced buttercream. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe into the crosses on top of the cupcakes.


If you prefer, leave the tops of the cakes whole. Glaze with the jam/water mix and pipe the crosses onto the surface.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a piping bag – you can make one using a clean Ziploc or freezer bag. Spoon the buttercream inside and snip off a tiny corner at the bottom, then squeeze gently over the cakes.

If you don’t have any icing sugar, blitz regular granulated sugar in a blender or food processor to turn it into a fine powder. It will work just as well.

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